Archives for General News

Foreign Buyers May Return in Nov. as U.S. Eases Restrictions

By Zeke Miller Travelers must be fully vaccinated and have a recent negative COVID-19 test if flying to the U.S., but the change could allow more buyers to physically tour homes. WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will ease foreign travel restrictions into the U.S. beginning in November, when his administration will require all foreign nationals flying into the country to be fully vaccinated. All foreign travelers flying to the U.S. will need to demonstrate proof of vaccination before boarding, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of flight, said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff
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New Flood Rates Debut Oct. 1 Unless Congress Acts

By Kerry Smith The Biden administration doesn’t plan to stop FEMA’s “Risk Rating 2.0” from going into effect, leaving Congressional leaders to decide. NAR backs the new structure that charges by individual home rather than flood zone, but it’s facing opposition from other real estate groups. WASHINGTON – Flood insurance is an unusual problem for lawmakers because it doesn’t break along party lines. In general, representatives from coastal states oppose any change that raises rates, while landlocked state representatives do not. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) oversees the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and it has been planning a
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Aug. Home Construction Up 3.9% After July Drop

By Martin Crutsinger A better-than-expected rebound came largely from the apartment-construction segment that rose 21.6% compared to a 2.8% decline in single-family-home starts. WASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. home construction rebounded a better-than-expected 3.9% in August with the strength coming in apartment construction. The August increase left home construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.62 million units, 17.4% above the pace of a year ago, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday. Housing starts had fallen 6.2% in July. The August strength came in a 21.6% jump in construction of apartment units which offset a 2.8% fall in construction of single-family
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More Canadian Snowbirds Plan Their Florida Return

A summer survey found that over 90% of snowbirds expected to return to Fla. this winter – but sentiments have dipped a bit since the COVID delta variant hit. SARASOTA, Fla. – After staying home last winter, more Canadian snowbirds plan to return to Florida in 2021. Wallace Weylie, legal counsel for the Canadian Snowbird Association, said there seems to be a lot of pent-up demand from regular snowbirds to return to a warmer climate. “The sentiment is that they’re not going to spend another winter in Canada,” he says. The first year of COVID-19 saw a lot of Canadian
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Home Prices a Reason to Rent?

By Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy It depends on where you want to live, at least according to a new report that analyzed the top 100 U.S. metros. But no Fla. metros were in the top 10 overvalued markets. McLEAN, Va. – Should you buy a home now or wait? That depends on the market you want to live in. Three metropolitan areas – Phoenix, Las Vegas and Stockton, California – are among the 10 most overvalued housing markets in the nation, according to a new report published by Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. The three had been among the places most harmed by the housing collapse more than a decade ago. Homes in Phoenix and Las Vegas are selling at
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Report: America Is Short 5.24M Homes

Realtor.com: The shortfall continues and even increased by 1.4M homes since 2019. New-home construction has hit its slowest pace since 1995 and isn’t much headway. SANTA CLARA, Calif. – More real estate listings are coming to the market, but that won’t be able to make up for the fact that America is short millions of homes based on population needs. That likely means homebuyers will continue to face inventory shortages and a dearth of homes for sale in the future. The U.S. is short 5.24 million homes, an increase of 1.4 million homes from 2019, according to research from realtor.com. “The
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NAR: 4 Out of 5 Real Estate Firms Operated from 1 Office in 2020

Survey: The majority of those firms also typically had 3 full-time RE licensees. Nearly 9 out of 10 firms, or 86%, were independent and non-franchised. WASHINGTON – The majority of real estate firms – 80% – operated from a single office and typically with three full-time real estate licensees in 2020, according to a new survey by the National Association of Realtors®. Nearly nine out of 10 firms – 86% – were independent and non-franchised. In honor of National Small Business Week, NAR released its 2021 Profile of Real Estate Firms, which surveyed Realtor® executives and senior managers to learn about
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Realtor.com: National Rent Growth Hits Double-Digits in Aug.

Aug. report: Rental prices hit double-digit growth for the first time in two years and grew three times faster than in March 2020, prior to the pandemic. Over half of the 50 largest metros reported rents with double-digit gains over last year, including Tampa, Miami and Orlando. SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The U.S. rental market is booming. Rental prices hit double-digit growth for the first time in two years in August and grew three times faster than in March 2020 (prior to the onset of COVID), according to the Realtor.com® Monthly Rental Report.  Additionally, rents posted double-digit gains over last year
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180M People Could Be Looking for Homes in Coming Years

Experts predict that many more millennials, who already comprise the majority of the home-buying population, will become homebuyers in the coming years. MIAMI – Experts predict that many more millennials, who already comprise the majority of the home-buying population, will become homebuyers in the coming years. Martins Realty Group CEO Bobby Martins calculates that around 180 million people will be in their prime home-buying years, whether purchasing their first home or looking to expand. Meanwhile, a survey by eXp Realty found 87% of respondents believed people should be homeowners, or should be trying to buy a home, by age 40.
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Mortgage Rates Dip Lower This Week; 30-year Loan at 2.86%

Freddie Mac: It’s down from 2.88% last week and close to the 2.87% the 30-year FRM was at this time last year. The 15-year FRM now stands at 2.11%. WASHINGTON (AP) – Average long-term mortgage rates dipped lower this week as economic prospects continued muted amid a wave of new delta variant coronavirus cases. They remained under 3%. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year mortgage edged down to 2.86% from 2.88% last week. That’s very close to where the benchmark rate stood at this time last year, 2.87%. It peaked this year at
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